The governments tactics evading the implementation of the Supreme Court orders passed during the recent hearings of the Haj scam case and the courts strong reaction to this attitude, suggestive of deliberate defiance, had, over the past few days, built up a feeling among the public that the parliamentary session called on Monday was to set the stage for a showdown with the judiciary. And the statement of former Law Minister Babar Awan, who is considered close to the top hierarchy of the PPP, that the next 24 hours were important for democracy in the country further confirmed that impression. It created a strong sense of trepidation, uncertainty and confusion in the minds of the people. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilanis address on the floor of the House has, however, tried to clear the atmosphere and succeeded in somewhat easing the situation, albeit for the time being. In the face of clear evidence to the contrary, Mr Gilani claimed that his government had implemented, in letter and in spirit, all decisions of the apex judiciary and would do so in the future. In support of it, he pointed to the views of recently retired judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Javed Iqbal, who is reported to have said that the government complied with the court directives. Without naming it, the Prime Minister focused on taking to task the major opposition party PML-N ruling Punjab for its acts, which he perceived as in stark violation of law. He repeatedly came back to it for its transgressions that he maintained this party had committed. Mr Gilani declared that the government would protect democracy, the Constitution and the judiciary. But this was not the first time the Prime Minster had shown respect to the judiciary and claimed his government was fully implementing its verdicts while according to PML-Ns record it has flouted 17 SCs decisions so far. There is, therefore, little chance that this time around he would honour his commitment. Earlier, President PML-N Mian Nawaz Sharif held a press conference in which he said that his party had decided to defend the judiciary and charged the government with trying to use Parliament to hide its billions of rupees of corruption but his party would give it a tough time. He praised the Supreme Court for taking notice of the rampant corruption in the country. While, no doubt, the Prime Ministers words have temporarily cooled down the situation to some extent, things would most likely heat up again when another corruption case comes up before the court. The relief, therefore, is only for a short while. And since buying time is the governments principal objective to enable it to complete its term, it would not mind 'showing respect to the judiciary, asserting it would obey its orders and, at the same time, doing everything possible to evade compliance. It must not forget that nothing could be more damaging to democracy and, indeed, the state.